I had called and arranged to bring Gracie in early this afternoon. Didn't speak with Dr. Anne, just made the arrangements. Just about to go outside and crank up the trailer and thought I would check emails. Relief is flooding off of me like water over a smooth rock. Read this (and smile!):
As you heard from the front desk - it is certainly fine if you bring her here and also fine if your Specialized Farrier trims her here. We'll see what we can do to help the appetite. I have a few tricks to try - one requires you to buy some beer for her (Guiness is best).
Gracie is safe and warm and under close observation with Dr. Anne. Your input was right on, Tracy. We are doing a scope of her mouth, throat, stomach, and upper GI tomorrow to see if there are ulcers, tumors, or irritations of any kind. She is dehydrated (they could tell by tenting her skin) and she has lost volume although her weight was just about the same.
I am grateful, relieved, and will rest much easier tonight. She needs to eat. Dr. Anne has a whole list of things to try with the last being the use of medicines to stimulate her appetite. Dr. Anne was explaining to me that one of her patients - a mare that had colic surgery - had fallen off of her food. So, Dr. Anne tried a few things and then setup a "competition" for the same feed bucket with this surgery mare and another horse. "Did the trick!", she said. This woman is so creative!
So, the scope tomorrow and then food and water intake tracking plus outputs tracking. And then we will go from there.
It is so nice to walk in and have the two head vets hug you at the door. Feels like family - and they treat our horses like they are their own. We are so very fortunate!
good that she's safe and warm - what about the beer? I'll donate the stuff I bought and haven't yet given away, if Leinie's is what it takes.
her situation reminds me of my llama who died of pancreatitis in 2003 - wouldn't eat and faded away, the vet there (Calif.) was highly rated and worked with exotics, but had no idea and was treating sore gums (a secondary issue it turns out) and it was so weird the state vet came in to do a necropsy for fear it was some mysterious thing that would wipe out the Calif. ag industry, that's how it was discovered what the real issue was.
another idea is that the food doesn't taste right due to some bodily imbalance - the colleague recovering from ovarian cancer surgery couldn't eat for a week because everything tasted like metal - when I Goodsearched "food tastes metallic" I found a bunch of situations caused by other medicines being taken, among other things, that work to make the food taste bad.
Hey, Tracy - I ran the idea of Leinie's by Dr. Anne and she said thanks, but if we need beer for Gracie it has to be Guiness! Something about the hops they use. Go figure . . .
The scope procedure went well today. There are two areas with ulcers - one more developed than the other area. So we will keep her on the UlcerGard as long as she is on the Equioxx pain medicine and for a while thereafter.
And our Specialized Farrier met me there and we trimmed her. Took inches - huge hunks! - off of her tiny, little feet. She seemed to stand better almost instantly. Her muscles will be sore with the change in her posture but she did not lie down right away. Nope! She ate hay! And some feed! Wonderful to see!
She seems very content and is in a stall with a good 6" of shavings. I've ordered the orthotic boots for her and when they arrive I will run those in to her, but then plan on staying home and taking care of these kids through the cold. No worries, however, since Gracie has so many who come to play with her and brush her and tempt her with all kinds of food. She is very popular amongst all the students and techs.
So, as Dr. Anne says, now we watch, support, and wait. And then she looked me right in the eye and added, "And we have patience." Guess she has my number, now doesn't she?
Hey, Dan! Leave it to you to weigh in on the alcoholic beverages!
Just talked with Dr. Anne. Our Gracie is doing well. Was resting off of her feet about 8 hours total yesterday - a HUGE improvement since her trim. She is being offered several feeds and her feed of choice seems to be the SafeChoice. Wonderful!
She is taking in water and generating "her fair share of manure" according to Dr. Anne. So, she is doing very well.
I'll run in to see her tomorrow afternoon and drop off her orthotic boots and one more tube of each of her meds (ulcer and pain). Dr. Anne and I will talk on Monday but I believe, with the warmer weather, that we will probably bring her home on Monday.
Good news. Good recovery by Little Gracie. And relief!!
I'll do just about anything to provide cares to these horses while saving us a dollar -
So, Dr. Anne called in the perscription to Omaha Vaccine and I was able to order Gracie's pain and ulcer meds online - saving us about 30% over suggested retail. And . . . given Dr. Anne's level of cooperation with Refuge Farms, she then lets me bring in Gracie's meds rather than dispense them from the U of M pharmacy.
And the way my Mom told me, it was bringing Eskimo Pies to the Eskimos!!!
Took the precious time to drive in and see Gracie. Dr. Anne caught me on her way out the door. She is pleased with Gracie but says she is "quite thin". That's being polite. You can count every rib on her sides and every disc in her spine. Beyond tiny . . .
BUT! I opened the treats that Linda J. made for her and she ate one out of my hand. They are soft and so I broke one into little pieces and she then worked on eating it. Not quite sure what to do with a soft cookie, but she figured it out.
I took Anne's get well card for Gracie and taped it to her door. The envelope, too. Could not resist it when it was addressed to "Gracie Gilbert". Just too cute!
I also brought in her meds and her boots. Dr. Anne will put the boots on her tomorrow to see how she stands in them. And then Dr. Anne and I will talk Monday morning. So much depends upon the weather . . .
She is home. Weighing in at a whopping 417 pounds, Little Gracie hollered her "Thank you's!" as she walked out of the big doors and into the trailer. Once home, she went right into her stall and nibbled on some hay, checked out the feed bucket, and then settled into her thick bed of shavings. I measured her feed so we'll see how much she consumes.
I'm going to do my best to support her here at home but if she stops eating again, I have to conclude it is the cold that is bothering her. I've got several feelers out and some great leads on heated box stalls available for 90 days. I'm not going to give up on her, just need to figure out what it is that needs to be done!
Dr. Anne is her cheerful, optimistic self and thinks she will be just fine. So, I will keep her posted and hopefully tell her she was ever so correct, once again!
Keep checking this bb for updates on the little peanut. She sure is a cutie, isn't she?
Gracie seems more interested in connecting with the other horses than eating. So, I've emailed Dr. Anne that I am going against her orders and putting Gracie out with Lanna, PONY!, Liz-Beth, Miss April, and Appaloosa Mare for a while today. If she can feel a part of a herd again, maybe she will realize she is hungry!
Dr. Anne also found a Vitamin B supplement that I will order today - will help her brain function and also is an appetite stimulant. One ounce every day and hopefully that will help on many fronts for this little peanut.
The one thing that Gracie is doing is pooping! Good for her! Still too small to stay on the fork, though. Like cleaning up after a rabbit! ;D How can you not love this little girl?/
Gracie continues to have her own way and baffle some of us while she is doing it!
I was in the barns twice last night - worried about her without any feed in her tummy. Each time I refreshed her hay and she ate the choice parts but left the rest. And somewhere in the wee hours of morning, she took a good long drink.
The forecast is for below zero again for a few days (hopefully the last of this stuff!) and so I will be boarding her for a few days starting Saturday night. I have guests planned for THE FARM on Saturday and once they have departed I will get her loaded on we will be on our way. She'll stay until the temps moderate. I just cannot risk having her freeze up during the really cold weather. The blankets she has on today should be the ones for the 20 below - and she is none too warm out there in them.
Her vitamin B supplement is arriving some time today so I will begin her on that, as well. Measure her new feed ration and hope for the best!
If you want to see something absolutely darling . . . even the hardest of hearts would be caught saying, "AAAhhhhhh.....". I have yet to see it and not have it bring a smile to my face.
Little Gracie has her Soft-Ride boots on and it is just so darn cute! They are hard rubber soles with soft, cushy inserts (purple ones at that!). They velcro across the top of her hoof but below her ankle line so there is no rubbing or wearing on her little body.
The biggest difference, however, is in her mobility. These boots really do their jobs because we just walked in from the pasture - over ice and over frozen manure - and she never missed a beat! Usually she would be tentative and have to reset her foot whenever she stepped on something too bumpy for her sole. But not tonight! Not in her new boots!
Good progress for Gracie. Now, if we can just keep her warm!
This little peanut seems to be holding her own. She is content in her stall today - out of the wind and the snow. So I have picked her stall and given her fresh feed, hay, and water. Her meds are in her tummy as is an apple for a reward.
The temperature is about 15 degrees above in the barn and she seems okay. I would not be comfortable with her outside today but in her stall, with Spirit teasing her through the gates, she seems okay.
Maybe, just maybe, the 20 below stuff is gone for the season?!
Gracie is starting her "nesting" behavior. I can see the pattern and the effect.
When it gets cold and drafty in the barn, Grace gets herself down in the bedding, gets her legs up under her and under the blankets, and sleeps. She just waits it out.
The good side to this is that she has found a way to survive. The bad side to this is that she doesn't eat or drink when she is "nesting".
The feed I gave her last night hasn't been touched. Even the apple in the feed is frozen. The hay hasn't been touched and she hasn't had a drink of water. This is how she loses her weight. Trying to keep warm rather than eating.
So, I'm going to plow and drop the trailer and bring her in. I'll bring her home on Friday but between now and then they are forecasting -25 wind chills and -7 temperatures. I read that out here on this hill as -40 wind chills and -15 temperatures.
We don't need her to lose the little bit of ground that she has gained.